Tidsskrift for den Norske laegeforening : tidsskrift for praktisk medicin, ny raekke

[Patch testing and nickel allergy].

PMID 18274576


The prevalence of contact allergy varies between populations. 857 patients were tested for contact allergy (epicutantest; patch test) at the Department of Dermatology, Stavanger University Hospital in 2001 and 2002. Finn Chambers were placed on the upper part of the back, removed after 48 hrs and read after an additional 24 hrs. Positive reactions and other variables were recorded and data were collected retrospectively from journals. The most common allergens were metals such as nickel (nickel chloride; 40% and nickel sulphate; 23%), cobolt (11%) and dichromate (6.5%), fragrance mix (10%) and fragrance indicators such as peru balsam (9.4%), compositae (6.1%) and colophonium 5.3%. 370 (67%) women versus 139 (45%) men were positive for at least one of the allergens in the standard series (odds ratio 2.5 CI 1.83-3.23). 149 of 341 (44%) nickel positive patients had isolated reactions to nickel chloride without reacting to nickel sulphate, while only 11 (3.2%) reacted to nickel sulphate alone. 61/93 (66%) of the cobolt sensitive patients were also sensitive for nickel sulphate (OR: 8.9 CI 5.54-14.12,), while 77 (82%) tested positive for nickel chloride (OR: 9.26 CI 5.29-16.21). We detected a similar prevalence for common allergens as that reported from other skin departments in hospitals in Norway, but a higher average than that presented in other European studies.

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